Originally posted in MomsCharlotte.

My Way or Highway DivorceHow many of us have heard these words from our children: “I want to do it the way I want to do it!” I hear it on a regular basis from my 6-year-old son and remind myself that he is learning his independence. But, these words are not only said to me by my son, but also from various clients, friends and even members of our very own staff. Let’s face it – we all want to do things the way that we want to do them. It would be much easier to schedule your children’s well check appointments if you did not have to consider someone else’s schedule. It would be much easier to exercise and to sleep more if we found the right balance in the day between what we wanted to do and what we have to do. It would be much easier to attack your “to do” list if you were not running carpool.

The same can be said in a divorce case. Learning that you may not get your way or that you won’t get to do things the way you want can be an incredible struggle. Compromise with your spouse may not have been a word that carried much weight before you separated. Now, dealing with separation and two households, it may be the only word that makes sense as you travel down the path of creating a “modern” family. If you like the idea of compromise, and want to avoid battling it out in the courtroom, you should consider a Collaborative Law approach when facing separation. North Carolina defines “Collaborative Law” as a procedure in which a husband and wife who are separated and are seeking a divorce, or are contemplating separation and divorce, and their attorneys agree to use their best efforts and make a good faith attempt to resolve their disputes arising from the marital relationship without having to resort to litigation. Further, the parties’ attorneys agree not to serve as litigation counsel, except to ask the court to approve the settlement agreement. In real life, this means that if you failed at resolution by these alternative measures, then you would have to find new counsel – which incurs more cost, in time and money. Incentive to resolution? Absolutely.

While you still may not get your way, you are keeping the decisions and the choices involved in separation and divorce in your hands. Collaborative cases often use resources such as divorce coaches, financial advisors, life insurance advisors, and more. The hitch? Both parties have to agree to use this approach. If you can make that decision together, then it may be the first of many in working towards a resolution that works for you and your family.

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